The theme of the week has been streaks in the Cubs’ system, as Kane County has a 10 game win streak going at the moment, Albert Almora has hit in 8 of his last 9 games, Addison Russell has homered in 3 straight games, and Pierce Johnson had a 23 scoreless inning streak snapped last night. The confluence of those events have led the Smokies to winning 6 of 7 and a 3 gain lead atop their division as the season winds down. The most impressive is obviously the Cougars’ win streak, but the others are impressive in their own right. And they come at a good time, as the minor league seasons are winding down and all of the teams in the system have a shot at a playoff berth.
Injuries of Note: Edgar Gonzalez (7 Day DL), Jonathan Sanchez (7 Day DL), Jose Arias (7 Day DL), Nathan Maldonado (60 Day DL), Brad Renner (60 Day DL), Danny Lockhart (7 Day DL), Anthony Prieto (60 Day DL), Austin Reed (60 Day DL), Julio Rodriguez (7 Day DL), Rubi Silva (7 Day DL), James Pugliese (7 Day DL), Will Remillard (7 Day DL), Nathan Dorris (7 Day DL), Jeffrey Antigua (7 Day DL), Edwardo Figeroua (7 Day DL), John Andreoli (7 Day DL), Dae-Eun Rhee (7 Day DL), Tyler Skulina (7 Day DL), Lendy Castillo (7 Day DL), Luis Flores (7 Day DL), Mike Olt (7 Day DL, Strained Hamstring)
Record This Season: 13-14; 3rd Place (-4.5) NWL South
Boise has been a pit stop for the 2014 draft picks to this point, and 2nd round pick Jake Stinnett joins the list after making his Northwest League debut this week. While his outing was not long, only going 2.2 innings, it was solid. He allowed no hits and 1 walk in the outing. At his juncture, it would be a little surprising if Stinnett made his way to Kane County this season. It isn’t out of the question, but considering we’re in the 4th week of August, it shouldn’t be an expectation.
Kane County Cougars
Record This season: 38-20, 1st Place (+ 2.0) MWL West; Won MWL West 1st Half Division Championship
After a little bit of a slow start, Jeffrey Baez has gotten it going at Kane County. He is up to .276/.317/.553 with 4 HRs and 7 doubles in 22 games with the Cougars. At 20 years old, he is one of the next wave of prospects behind the core group that will be ascending on Wrigley Field in the coming year and a half. Mark Zagunis, in his first five games with the Cougars, has a .231/.474/.385 small sample slash line, since being promoted from Boise last week.
Record This Season: 32-25, 1st Place (+2.0) FSL North
After a slow start, Dan Vogelbach has put up the kind of numbers on the season that one would expect while in Daytona. He’s improved to a .272/.359/.425 slash line, with 13 HRs, 70 RBI, and 60 walks on the season. While Vogelbach remains a prospect without a defensive position, he is one of the better bats in the system, and has shown it by putting up a strong season in the Florida State League.
Record This Season: 32-27 1st Place (+ 3.0) Southern League North
Addison Russell’s 3 game HR streak was discussed earlier, but the 20 year old has been outstanding since joining the Cubs’ organization. He has hit at a .306/.351/.573 clip since arriving in Tennessee, with 11 HRs and 31 RBI in 40 games. In many ways, his adjustment has been seamless and he hasn’t suffered from not having Jorge Soler in the line-up with him. Albert Almora is hitting .245/.267/.347 with Tennessee thus far. He had a slow start with Daytona this season, before figuring it out. Combining that with his aggressive promotion to AA, these struggles are likely temporary. Again, as discussed, he has already shown some signs of snapping out of it, so there is a good chance that Almora finishes strong and builds some momentum for 2015.
Record This Season: 67-66 3rd Place ( -3.0 ) PCL American North
The streaks haven’t gone quite the same way for the I-Cubs as they have for the Smokies or Cougars. Iowa has lost 6 of 7, fallen into 3rd place, and stand 3 games back as they hit the home stretch. In many ways, this isn’t a huge surprise, as Kris Bryant and Mike Olt have missed some time with injuries; Olt’s landing him on the DL with a hamstring strain. Bryant only missed a couple of days with a bruised toe, which is painful, but nothing to worry about. Junior Lake has returned to Iowa, appearing in 3 games this week, going 5-14 with a walk.